Pure Chutney

Directed by Sanjeev Chatterjee
1998. 42min.

Pure Chutney is an exploration of the delicious – and even difficult – mix of Trinidadian-Indian culture. The film takes up as its theme the undeniable hybridity of postcolonial societies, and celebrates in some measure the events and accidents of history that constitute the Indian diaspora. This video portrays interactions with svarious Trinidadian-Indians, and takes as its point of departure their reflections on what someone in the film calls “our preoccupation with India”. The camera and the narrative take the point of view of a U.S.-based Indian writer and photographer traveling in Trinidad. This video-essay appears at a critical time: in India, where right-wing appeals to religious purity are signaling a period of grave crisis for assorted minorities and women; and in the West, where the growing presence of a diasporic Indian population in, for example, the U.S., Canada and the U.K. calls for a sophisticated and complex engagement with the question of Indian identities and difference.